Infertility and Mother’s Day do not mix. No matter where you are in your journey, that maze you are wandering through which clouds your path to motherhood, whether your time and thoughts are caught up in the busyness of treatment cycles or you have suffered through failed cycles and/or miscarriage, we dread that second Sunday in May.
Just when you have spent enough time with your loss so that you are becoming tolerant, if not friendly with it, Hallmark comes along and stabs you in the heart, casting you back into the darkness, feeling rejected all over again.
Mother’s Day is just so damn hard no matter the venue: church, brunch, Facebook, the recesses of your mind. How exactly do you escape the feeling of sadness at church when the carnations are handed out to all the moms but you are skipped in line? How conflicted do you feel when that complimentary mimosa for mom lands in front of you? Or how all the Mother’s Day posts on Facebook tug at your heart, the ones with smiling moms and smiling kids, everyone declaring their gratefulness to be a mom when you have no idea if the one thing you want most in the world will ever happen.
I just want you to know you are not forgotten. Your struggle is not lost on me as I spent several Mother’s Days feeling left out of the party, the celebration of all things fertile. I felt like such a failure, not understanding why we were singled out, what we did to deserve infertility’s relentless wrath on every level, physical, emotional, spiritual.
I wanted to tell that server to take that mimosa and shove it.
If you have chosen to remain silent about your struggle, I won’t forget you. A lack of words does not mean absence of feeling. Just like a picture, a tear can also tell a thousand words.
If you have spoken up about your struggle, I won’t forget you either. Mother’s Day may mean a break from those words and I will appreciate your need for some silent space on this day. Or maybe you want to be more vocal than ever, wanting those around you to know just how hard it all is.
As hard as I try, even having been there so many times, I know what I have to say may not make you feel better. No one could ever make me feel better. But I hope at the very least my words will help you feel less alone, knowing that there is someone else saying, “I’m here.”
If infertility has taught me anything it is strength so I know you will find the strength to get through the day on your own terms. You may choose to go to church, to brunch with your own mom. Or maybe stay home with a good book or movie, accompanied by comfort food.
Or you can tell Hallmark to go to hell.
And the best part? It’s only a matter of time before the day, Mother’s Day will dissolve into night, the next day. Speaking of strength, I have a quote from the character who epitomizes strength. From Scarlett O’Hara herself, “After all, tomorrow is another day!”
On Sunday I will celebrate my mom. My children (hopefully) will celebrate me. But before and after those brunch dishes are cleared and the flowers are starting to wilt in the vase my thoughts will remain with you, the infertility patient.
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